It was ten years since I had begun the writing course. But I wrote to them, to see if it was feasible to take up where I left off. Thankfully I’d begun before they put in an expiry date. They allowed me to continue, on the advice it might be worth purchasing up to date course materials. This time I had more experience and more confidence. I managed to finish assignment two, and moved to assignment three. It was an open assignment for a non-fiction piece.

I decided to write what I knew. I wrote about what it was like being married to a minister. I talked to other spouses of ministers and gathered lots of information and experiences. My tutor for the writing course is actually himself a married to a minister, so perhaps that had something to do with his enthusiastic response to the article – but it was enough to propel me to try to get published. I tried initially a Christian women’s magazine who said was good idea but didn’t want it at this time. I then decided the bullet and contact a well-known Christian magazine, which I knew was very hard to get into. It was a bit pie-in-the-sky. A dream. I found it slightly amusing that I was even asking them.

I didn’t hear anything so I bit the bullet again and I rang them up. Phoning people is not my favourite thing! But in my attempt to get through to an underling who wouldn’t frighten me at all, I got put through the assistant editor.

Long story short – they did accept the article. It got changed quite a lot, but it was my first acceptance by a commercial publication, I got paid for it and I was on my way.
Rather presumptuously I registered myself as self-employed writer as soon as this occurred. It could have been the only article I ever got accepted! But thankfully another piece was accepted shortly afterwards by the editor of the magazine who had rejected the first one, and then another, and then another … not that close together (life is full of so many things) but enough to make me feel that I qualified to call myself a writer.

And that was a big moment – not the acceptances, not the publication, but that shift in my own self-perception.

I moved from saying ‘I want to be a writer’ to ‘I am a writer’. That is pivotal. Until that point it could have been called a hobby, more accurately an unfulfilled dream. But I chose for it to be more than that.  I made it part of my identity.

There are some dreams worth chasing. If you’re willing to learn, to bend a little, to persist…

You never know.

A to Z posts – reflecting on my writing journey

A to Z theme reveal
A is for … acorns
B is for … bricks
C is for … change

34 thoughts on “dreams

  1. Chippy says:

    As long as you write you are a writer – writer’s write, those who don’t write are not writers, even if they claim to be a writer. I think that little nugget of wisdom came, in a round about way, from Chuck Wendig 🙂

    Stopping by from A To Z 🙂


  2. Tarkabarka says:

    “Write what you know” is a very important mantra. I sometimes think of topics I would love to write about, but I also know that I couldn’t do them justice until I immerse myself more.. 🙂

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary


  3. Rosalie Squires says:

    Ah, Lucy, you revive all my old dreams! I have a friend who says, like Chippy above, that I am a writer because I write. I write an article for the parish magazine each month.
    But I’m not a writer in my own eyes. I’m the one who had one commercial success years ago, one self published boo,.completed five of the twenty assignments in six months then let three years go by without doing any more. And my course has a four year expiry time.


    • Lucy Mills says:

      Ahh, Rosalie, dreams can be revived! And perhaps you can still re-study some of the course materials and get some new inspiration? Writing monthly for a parish magazine is great – and can be so valuable to those who read. Who knows what you will inspire them, in turn, to do? It is no small thing, so be encouraged!


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